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Family Communication


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Improve family communication and stay connected. Presented by Dr. Tarra Bates-Duford at Family Matters Counseling Group, which can be seen at:

Published in: Lifestyle
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Family Communication

  1. 1. Improve Family Communication and Stay Connected
  2. 2. With demanding work schedules, children in school, personal challenges, familial responsibilities such as paying the rent/mortgage, car payments, and other household expenses it can become increasingly difficult to stay connected as a family. Too many times we assume because we are “family” that we can put our loved ones on the back burner, unlike friendship, familial relationships are not conditional. You are either family or you are not, there is no in between. So, what do we mean when we say families should stay connected? To put it simply we are referring to the spiritual, emotional, psychological, and physical connectedness or bond that keeps us in tuned with those we love. It is the feeling of being loved and accepted unconditionally, faults and all. Improve Family Communication and Stay Connected
  3. 3. Stop fighting the same fights Affection 1 2 3 4 5 Discuss your day with your family Say thank you Sharing feelings How can you establish and maintain connectedness with family members?
  4. 4. Affection Showing affection is a little easier when children are younger as they often initiate and crave both attention and affection. However, when children reach their teenage years they go through a period of both physical and cognitive changes that can limit and even interfere with their ability to show affection. Hugging mom and dad in public as a child is often done freely and fiercely, but teenagers may hesitate or avoid PDA from the parents if they think their peers may see it.
  5. 5. Say thank you Saying thank you for a helping hand or selfless gesture can produce positive benefits for both those receiving the help and those providing the help. Saying thank you acknowledges the other persons contribution or kind act. Our children are no different, we want to acknowledge as well as thank them when they have done something nice for us.
  6. 6. Discuss your day with your family Asking family members about their day, including spouses allows members to stayed informed of the changes occurring within that family members lives. Asking about your loved one’s day is a common question that can be asked when a spouse returns home from work, children return home after school, etc. Get a conversation started with your teens to connect with them. Explore each other's days and really pay attention to what your kids have to say.
  7. 7. Sharing feelings Sharing one’s feelings is not an easy task for everyone, some people struggle in this area. However, it is very important that as parents you learn how to express your feelings sooner rather than later. Children learn how to express themselves through a process known as modeling. If you hide your feelings or act only on angry feelings your children are more likely to do the same.
  8. 8. Stop fighting the same fights As difficult as this may sound some arguments or disagreements cannot be solved between family members. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to agree to disagree. By fighting the same fight, resentment, hurt feelings, and animosity can build.
  9. 9. How to disagree respectfully One of the most important skills children should learn is how to disagree with others respectfully. School- age kids are establishing their individuality and independence, forming their own opinions about things, and figuring out what they like and don't like. It's only natural that they may occasionally not see eye-to- eye on something with a friend, a teacher, or parents. However, they must learn to do so respectfully, understanding that there will be decisions made on their behalf by an adult that they may not yet understand.  Speak in an even tone without raising your voice.  Ensure when you are in an environment that does not create a distraction and your child can hear what you are saying.  Allow children to have the opportunity to voice their feelings  Be clear, talk only about the current issues of concern. Do not drift back and forth between the past and the present  When you notice you are becoming upset table the conversation for a later time or date. You want children to focus on your message not your mood.  Do not use ultimatums or threats  Do not use the silent treatment
  10. 10. Benefits of healthy communication  Children learn and develop good listening skills  Builds self-esteem for children  Helps children learn how to effectively express their feelings  Family bonds are strengthened  Trust builds in the relationship  Family members become more reliant on each other  Children have less incidents of acting out behaviors  Children learn and can distinguish between what is appropriate communication and what is unhealthy communication Consequences of Ineffective communication  Hurt feelings  Family members have a difficult time feeling connected  Children received mixed messages which can be confusing  Anxiety and resentment are more like to be present when communication is ineffective  Children learn to fear parents not respect them  Children develop poor listening skills, e.g., tune in an out of discussions  Children will have marked difficulty managing conflict  Children feel like they can’t do anything right  Family members are more likely to yell at rather than communicate with each other  Family members have a difficult time resolving conflict, e.g., more likely to self-isolate from other members
  11. 11. Start and maintain a night specifically for your family Take a family trip together, one that includes activities for parents, children, and the family as a whole. Use your words wisely with your children Try and eat dinner together Cultivate an encouraging environment in the home Implement a no cell phone, tablet, laptop policy when family members are spending time together, e.g., watching a movie, enjoying a meal, etc. Consciously make time to discuss with family members what going on in each others lives. Encourage siblings to be closer by adding a no tattling policy Tips to Improve Family Communication and Stay Connected